Besides the famous backwaters, elegant houseboats, ayurvedic treatments and delicately spiced, taste-bud-tingling cuisine, Kerala is home to wild elephants, exotic birds and the odd tiger, while vibrant traditions such as Kathakali, theyyam, temple festivals and snake-boat races frequently bring even the smallest villages to life.
Kerala is South India’s most serenely beautiful state. This slender coastal strip is defined by its layered landscape: almost 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast and beaches; a languid network of glistening backwaters; and the spice- and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats, dotted with fiercely protected wildlife reserves and cool hill stations such as Munnar. Just setting foot on this swath of soul-soothing, palm-shaded green will slow your subcontinental stride to a blissed-out amble. Kerala is a world away from the frenzy of India’s elsewhere, its long, fascinating backstory illuminated by historically evocative cities like Kochi (Cochin) and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum).
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